18 October 2005
A partnership between the government and Business Unity South Africa to address the challenge of climate change was formed at the National Climate Change Conference in Midrand, Johannesburg on Monday.
The newly formed partnership is expected to create a system for monitoring and reporting on the levels of greenhouse gas emissions in South Africa.
“At the World Summit on Sustainable Development, South Africa led the way in highlighting the ‘triple bottom line’ of business – economic, social, and environmental concerns,” said Business Unity SA (Busa) President Patrice Motsepe.
“This agreement gives further content to that approach. Busa understands the importance of economic growth that does not mortgage our future for the sake of short-term profit, and we will work with government to ensure that we address the challenges of climate change together.”
The mining magnate also referred to the increasing number of South African companies that were exploring investment opportunities presented by the Clean Development Mechanism.
Environmental Affairs Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said the government hoped to extend the partnership with business to other interventions, “especially those which will help our rural and agricultural communities adapt to the impacts of climate change through the diversification of the rural economy.”
Investment in science
Science Minister Mosibudi Mangena opened the science session of the conference with calls for greater investment in the science of climate change and African research and development.
Stating alternatives for energy use, Mangena said nuclear power was one of the options, alongside wind and solar technologies.
“Climate change research requires global observation of numerous characteristics of the earth system over a long period of time,” the minister said.
“Scientists need to ensure that reliable data is collected by a whole suite of observing systems – from satellite to surface stations to ocean buoys operated by various countries and agencies.”